The CRTC announced today that GoodLife Fitness Centres has paid a penalty of $300,000 to the Receiver General for Canada as part of a settlement over its telemarketing practices.

The federal regulator issued a notice of violation after an investigation found that GoodLife had used automated calling devices (typically known as robocalls) to solicit its members without obtaining their prior express consent.

“Telemarketers that inundate Canadians with unwanted phone calls are not engaging in a legitimate marketing practice. We expect the business community to follow the rules at all times, and we will vigorously investigate breaches.” said Andrea Rosen of the CRTC.

GoodLife was making robocalls to inform its members of new club openings and invite them to grand opening events. In addition to paying an administrative monetary penalty, GoodLife has agreed to cease using automated calling devices for telemarketing purposes without obtaining its members’ prior express consent, publish corrective notices in newspapers and on its website and organize a business education event with the CRTC at the Can-Fit-Pro Consumer and Wellness Show to foster compliance with the telemarketing rules.

The CRTC has now fined companies over $2.1 million in penalties since it implemented the National Do Not Call List (DNCL). The purpose of the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) is to allow Canadians to opt out of receiving unwanted telemarketing calls, however, critics and members of the public have been complaining for years that firms, such as Goodlife, continue to break the law.

The $300,000 fine for Good Life is the biggest and only reported fine since the CRTC fined Bell Canada for $1.3 million last December. In that case, the government found that between January and October of 2010, call centres acting on behalf of Bell Canada had solicited consumers who had registered their numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) or who were or should have been on Bell Canada’s internal do not call list.

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